Correspondent - A Look at Gear in WoW
MMORPG.com World of Warcraft Correspondent Ricky Turner writes this article about the importance of gear in Activision / Blizzard's record shattering MMORPG, World of Warcraft.
In Activision-Blizzard’s MMO World of Warcraft, gear is the single most important component of your character. Contrary to what some players say, WoW is a gear based game. Of course, skill does come into play, but even the worst player can beat one of the best if he out-gears him. This is quite an unfortunate pitfall in the game’s grand design, but is made up for once someone gets decent gear. From this point on, the article has been written for people who do not know much about the game, it’s an informative guide aimed at helping people. If you know everything, stop wasting your time reading now, thank you.
From the moment you step into Azeroth, gear becomes an important part of your gaming experience. Whether it be the grey starter items, or the +1 stamina leather belt that dropped in a cave filled with the Burning Blade cult. As you level, you will interchange gear so often that it’s a pain to try and keep gear that is exactly your level. The best strategy for this is to just run instances every few levels and get your updates from the many instances spread throughou the game. If you buy items off the auction house, you are most likely wasting your money unless the item is really cheap. The reason I state this is because you will “out-level” the gear pieces by the time you make the money spent back. Another popular money-sink are the blue bind on equip items that are placed on the Auction House for twinks. Most of the blue BoE items are so over priced that it isn’t economically efficient for a leveling character to purchase them. Yes, they are flashy and wonderful at the time you buy them, but when you’re 75 gold short of buying your mount, it wasn’t worth the money spent. Blizzard fixed these small issues in the Burning Crusade expansion by having quests give out the best items for your level. Once you begin to do BC’s quest lines, you’ll never have to purchase another piece of armor or new weapons at all. Gear while leveling is important, but you can often quest and level with equipment under your level without having any problems.
The gear acquiring process at level 70 is a completely different subject than when leveling. Gear at 70 is most commonly acquired through raiding and PvP battlegrounds or arenas. It can also be acquired through crafting, but the general consensus is that most of the Tier 6 and Brutal Arena gear is far superior than most of the crafted gear. The wonderful thing about WoW is how it is built with the hardcore and casual player bases in mind.
For the casual players, the PvP sets are often the easier of the two to acquire. You can log on, play a few battlegrounds a day, and by the end of the week maybe pick up one piece with the farmed honor and marks. Eventually, you’ll have your set of Arena Season 2 gear, and be semi-well geared. The best PvP gear comes from the arena’s though. While getting gear through the arena system is still a more casual form of playing than raiding, it does take a bit more effort and in some cases time than the battleground alternative. The gear acquired from doing arenas, the season 4 Brutal set, is on par with the tier 6 raiding gear.
On the other hand, you have your hardcore players. Generally, these are the people who raid five nights out of the week for three to four hours. Sometimes gear comes to them at breakneck speeds and other times not at all. It all depends on the guild makeup and what drops from their kills. The gear for PvP and from raiding differ quite a bit, but often can complement one another.
The gear composition that you use often needs to favor your play style. For example, if you are a resto shaman, and you are wearing the enhance version of the Brutal sets, then you’re not going to be as efficient as you should be because the armor you are wearing is favoring a differing talent tree. Another interesting aspect as to how the game is set up is the forms of gear you can use in different situations. For example, many classes can mix together certain pieces of their arena gear with their T6 for raiding. This will give them generally increased stamina and resilience and often have stats used to help increase the DPS, while the raiding gear will benefit with a higher endurance factor. Yet, it’s not wise to wear PvE gear into an arena fight. The lack of resilience and stamina generally leads to a fast, rather painful death.
As stated previously, the gear you choose should match your play style. Oftentimes people will change their talent spec and have “useless” gear for that spec, so they start their venture into getting another set. It’s always good to have multiple sets of gear if your class has incredibly differential specs.
Another thing that sets the gear sets apart is how the PvP gear is generally geared toward more of an offensive approach, which would be used against smart targets, such as other players. For example, Brutal Gladiator's Dragonhide Gloves cause the maim ability that a druid has to interrupt spell casting, while this could be useful in PvE, it is often more useful in PvP gameplay. The Thunderheart Gauntlets, which are for the same talent tree, offer nice stats, but they in no way push forth the offensive nature like the PvP gloves do. Most gear can be compared like this, and eventually you may find a balancing act of the two that you want to use. If you get that, and it works then good for you, more often than not though most players tend to stick with the sets. Anytime you would like to compare gear, and find out what pieces you would like to strive to get outside of the game, go to www.wowhead.com and look under item sets, there you will find the major pieces for your class.
Gear in World of Warcraft is what the game is about, outside of destroying dragons and plague bearing kings. Nearly every player grinds away to get the best gear and be known as one of the best geared of their class on their server, maybe even the game. Without the constant pursuit of stronger, better gear, Activision Blizzard would have to think of something else to keep people hooked with. Thanks for reading.